Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Look what Ayla got in the mail today...

Her first paycheck! :)

Swimming, shooting, eating...

This past Sunday, we went out to the Hamann's in Elkhorn to hang out for just a little while before our friend Chris had to head back to D.C. (he flew out for Dean's party). Ayla swam in a big pool for the first time...we weren't sure how she would react since she didn't exactly love her little baby pool when we first put her in it. Dean took her in and initially, she seemed a little bit scared. The cool water made her take a deep breath in and Dean said he could feel her little heart racing. Once she got used to the temperature, she really liked it! She was giggling and splashing her hands in the water and was even kicking her little legs.

Silly Daddy wearing Ayla's hat After we soaked in the pool for a little bit, we ate lunch, changed, and headed out to shoot clay (am I even saying that right? Shoot clay?? I'm such a girl...I don't know.) Anyways, we all had earplugs and since getting those suckers into Ayla's ears would most likely be a mini wrestling match, we bought her some headphone-looking ear covers. She looked so funny in them! She surprisingly left them alone for a lot longer than I expected. We were able to watch for several minutes before she flung them off and we had to go sit in the car. By the time we were ready to head home, she was past her regular naptime so I had to keep her entertained in the car so we could prevent a meltdown.For dinner (the dinner Dean thought we were going to have on Saturday...hehe), we did a shrimp boil. You put all kinds of stuff...shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, lemon, spices...in a huge pot at various times (we used our turkey fryer) and when it's done cooking, you just dump the whole thing on a covered table and eat right off the table. It's great! And sooooooo yummy.We had such a great weekend...it was very busy, but it was fun...a wonderful way to top off my month at home with Ayla. My parents got home yesterday evening...I'm glad to have them back but that also means back to work for me. Today is my last day off. I was so looking forward to this time with her; I am floored that it's already over. It was the fastest month ever! The previous few times I was able to stay home with her, I was ready to go back to work by the end. During those times though, she wasn't on any sort of schedule...I had no idea when she would eat and when she would sleep. As a result, I felt like I couldn't go anywhere because I would be afraid that she would need to do one of the two. The whole day would feel so long and unpredictable...by the time Dean got home from work, I felt like I had been run completely ragged. Now, however, she is on a great schedule so I know what to expect every day. I know when we can leave the house to run errands or go shopping...she eats and naps around the same times every day. Before I know it, the day is over. I have had such a fun month with her...it's amazing to see how she does something new every day. She is so much more interactive now...she's incredible. I love her. And I am so bummed to be going back to work tomorrow...even more than when I had to go back after my maternity leave. I know I only work a few hours a day, but we have such a great routine going, I'm going to miss the time I've been able to spend with her. Sigh.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I can finally talk about this! This past Saturday, we threw Dean a surprise 30th birthday party. It's been in the works for months and towards the end, we were all having trouble keeping our lips zipped. I had food and alcohol hidden throughout the house...I took my cell phone with me everywhere I went, including the bathroom and shower just in case a phone call or text message would give something away if Dean was to see it...anytime anyone called him, I was on edge wondering if they would say something by accident. I was pretty much a ticking time bomb by the time Saturday finally rolled around. Several people asked me if I was stressed out and I honestly wasn't...until Dean left the house Saturday afternoon. At that point, I hit crazy-mode. My blood pressure skyrocketed and I was running around the house like I was on crack. I felt like I was either going to pass out or throw up...or possibly both.

His grandparents are visiting from Ohio so the plan was to tell him that Grandpa wanted to go check out the air force museum. :) So his dad, grandpa, uncle, and he all went out there. We hear he got a little anxious towards the end because he thought we were all getting together for a family dinner afterwards and he still had some things to do around the house. Little did he know, the ladies (Mom, Grandma, Marla, cousin Dana, Aunt Kathy,and I) were all at our house getting things set up.

People who were able to be present for the actual surprise started arriving around 4:15...we received a couple warning phone calls from the guys on their way back from the museum so we all crowded around the door to wait. My heart was thumping out of my chest. We heard the garage door open and at that point, I thought I was going to lose it.

When he finally opened the door and everyone yelled out "SURPRISE!!!", the look on his face was freaking awesome! I was so excited that my picture-taking was a bit delayed so I unfortunately didn't catch that first look of total confusion and disbelief. After that wore off, he was all smiles. It was so cute.

I am so so so glad that everything worked out and that he really didn't know what was coming. How fun! Thank you to everyone who came out to help us celebrate...I think he really had a good time. He was so thrilled to see so many great friends and family members. And a HUGE thank you to the whole family (and Tom) for making this all come together--all the planning, the great food, the alcohol, the museum trip to get him out of the house for a few hours, everything--it was all perfect. And whew, what a relief. We don't have to watch what we say now!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Downtown fun...

We went downtown to M's Pub for dinner tonight...it's Marla's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and Ayla's Great Grandma and Great Grandpa flew in this afternoon from Ohio. A couple of great reasons to celebrate. :)
Kisses from Aunt Marla. I love this picture...it's such a sweet little moment that I was lucky enough to capture.
Having fun with Daddy
Snuggling with GrandpaThree's company :)
Sitting pretty in the lovely humidity
Ayla with Grandpa, Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my two dads, Dean, and my brother...four of the greatest dads (and men) you'll ever meet. Unfortunately, we missed my dad for Father's Day this year...he's still in Taiwan.

Dean and I were both able to sleep in since Grandma and Grandpa took Ayla the night before after leaving Marla's birthday party. We all got together for a really great dinner later in the afternoon. Before dinner, the dads opened their presents. Ayla helped me pick out three new ties for Daddy (I was going to put her in front of all the ties at the store and just let her grab one, but when I saw the one with dolphins all over it, I decided against it) and she also gave him two photos that we put in a swivel frame...something for his desk at work.
To Dean...I know I already told you this in the card I gave to you, but once again, thank you for being such an amazing father. Thank you for everything you do for Ayla and for helping out in every little way. Ayla and I are both so very lucky. She is going to grow up admiring you so much...for your love, your sense of humor, your hard work, and your commitment to your family. We love you! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Say "Cheese!"

Ayla joined the workforce yesterday...we went to her first photo shoot! She's chipping in for all those diapers and formula. :) She modeled a little flowery purple outfit for Pamida. I was a little nervous about how she would do, so I armed myself with a bag full of snacks, food, formula, water, toys, etc...anything to keep her entertained and happy. We arrived a little early so I could get her acclimated to her new surroundings...people included. She was a happy, smiley baby right away which was good because sometimes she's a little apprehensive around new people.

I changed her into her outfit and we plopped her down on the white floor and backdrop in front of all the lights and the photographer clicked away. It was pretty easy to get her to smile, so we were done in about ten minutes. I had my own camera in our bag and I so wanted to snap a few pictures of her sitting there...she looked so cute. But, I didn't want to be that mom, so I resisted. Sigh. They said she was a really easy baby...I think it helped tremendously that we were there at a good time (not during nap or bottle-time). We were able to look at the pictures on the computer (Ayla thought that was pretty cool...she giggled the whole time) and I think they turned out pretty well...hopefully there's one they can use.

We don't have any Pamidas in the area, so we don't get their ads in the Sunday paper. They do, however, post their ads on their website so I'll be checking it out every week until I see her. I'm so happy it went well and I'm so proud of her!
I mentioned in one of my previous posts that mealtime has been a struggle lately. Well, it's a major struggle. She's not a very good eater, which makes me wonder if she's really my daughter because mealtime is probably my favorite part of the day. :) She hates her baby food lately...she'll take four or five bites and then proceeds to clamp her mouth shut as tight as she can. She likes Cheerios...I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure she cannot survive on Cheerios alone. Not for long, anyways. Okay, so she likes cheese and bananas too, but they, unfortunately back her up so she can't eat either of those things everyday. I've been trying all sorts of things...chopped up fruit, steamed veggies, bread, poached egg yolk, grilled cheese. It always seems like she likes it, but then just like the baby food, she's done after a few bites. It's so frustrating! Any ideas, moms?
And completely off the subject...Dean and I went down to the College World Series yesterday afternoon and evening with his office. I always like to get down there at least once every year. We didn't even go into the game...we just tailgated in the parking lot. It was perfect! I actually find baseball a bit boring; it's more about the atmosphere than the game that I like. It's cool that for a week out of the year, Omaha is actually on the map and the rest of the country realizes that we're more than just cornfields and cows. We really do have a great city with great people and more things to do than one would think.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our day in pictures...

Checking out the Target adBreakfast in our jammies...picking out the perfect CheerioInspecting it...Got one!And another one...Stopping to take a drinkEveryday, we go outside and check out our little garden to see if we can find any new tomatoes...here are a couple soon-to-be's They're growing...slowly, but surely
Basil The begonia that we're plant-sitting for my mom
Sitting on the deck, watching me take pictures
Break time
On her hands and knees but not loving it
Wearing her "fussy-pants"
Cardboard boxes are fun!
She has such long eyelashes...lucky girl
I love all of her little partsMaking a mess!